Southland Tales

You’ve heard the boos from Cannes and the “what the–?s” from reviewers. Even many of those who are well disposed toward writer-director Richard Kelly, some of those who liked–maybe loved–Donnie Darko, have given up on this movie. Well, I liked it.

Tonight Zach and I saw a preview screening of the version that’s now slated for wide release. The audience seemed pretty polarized. Judging by the walkouts, some hated it. Judging by the people who stayed in their seats through the credits, talking passionately, some loved it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it quite a lot, and I enjoyed watching it, which means something kind of different. A lot of little things were extremely funny, and some scenes were just delicious to look at. And it was fun seeing people like Jon Lovitz and Christopher Lambert in utterly unexpected little roles. The sound track is awesome, in a Mobylicious way, and there’s a bizarre scene set to one of my favorite songs–“All These Things That I Have Done” by the Killers–that would alone have been worth the price of admission, if we had paid one. Overall, it’s a weird and perhaps over-ambitious mishmash, but it’s not stupid, and I wasn’t bored.

And there aren’t enough movies about the space-time continuum, anyway.

Oh, and I came to the film with no backstory. I haven’t read the Southland Tales graphic novels, but now I’m going to give them a look.